Kenya Police get greenlight to shoot when threatened

Members of the public help a police officer into a vehicle after he was attacked by boda boda riders in Kisumu

Members of the public help a police officer into a vehicle after he was attacked by boda boda riders in Kisumu

Use your guns to defend yourselves, police officers have been told.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo told his officers to use firearms in self-defence, following increased attacks on law enforcers while on duty.

“I hereby direct police officers providing services to our customers that, when their lives are threatened or that of the public, they must clearly understand their powers to use firearms,” he said.

The police chief added: “The Police Service has noted with a lot of concern the increase in cases of assault against police officers while on duty. A police driver was mercilessly attacked by rowdy youth in Kisumu, beaten senseless and left for dead. A traffic police woman was again attacked not by rowdy youth but by a respectable member of the society while doing her regular work of regulating and controlling traffic.”


He was referring to incidents on Wednesday and Thursday last week in which a policeman was injured in a confrontation with boda boda riders in Kisumu and a policewoman injured in a clash with Bahati MP Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri in Nakuru respectively.

The MP was remanded in custody after denying five counts of assaulting a traffic police officer and defying lawful orders.

Mr Kimaiyo explained that Section 61 of the National Police Service Act, 2011, and the 6th Schedule justified use of firearms when acting to protect either their lives or that of another person.

He also drew his officers attention to sections of the law that mandate them to use arms either in self-defence or when defending another person against imminent threat of life or serious injury.

Police have been victims of attacks by gangsters and rowdy mobs in the recent past, injuring them severely.

The officers have also been accused of turning the guns on their colleagues.

Last week, a policeman was killed by his colleagues on Tuesday night, the fifth officer to be shot in circumstances where officers turned guns on one of their own in the last three weeks.

Constable Salesio Martin Kinyua was attached to the traffic department at Litein station and was gunned down at a petrol station near Ahero, inside a friend’s car, also a police officer.

The two on their way from Kisumu had pulled over at the petrol station to catch some sleep before officers from the nearby Mboya police station arrived at around 10pm and opened fire.

The shooting happened about two weeks after Chief Inspector Zebedayo Maina, who was buried last Friday, was also shot dead by colleagues in Kitui.

In Kakamega at Harambee police station, an officer killed himself after shooting and injuring his two colleagues.




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